‘Battlestorm’ from the Rosie Eade Band “... substantial depth and equally considerable appeal”(March 07, 2016)
The distance between a debut album in 2012 as an individual with a collection of musicians to a full-band follow up in 2016 might seem like a long time, then again it helps if the first is followed by something that’s worth the wait. ‘Battlestorm’ from the Rosie Eade Band certainly fulfils that requirement although clearly some changes have worked their influence during the intervening years. The melodies have a more subtle allure, the lyrics deeper meaning, the folk-rock edge honed and somewhat softened ... the result is an album of substantial depth and equally considerable appeal.
The distinctive Rosie Eade voice remains - recognisable timbre, intriguing phrasing and ability to softly entice or ‘rock it out’. The band is tight as you like and obviously feeding off each other in arrangement and delivery. As well as original work, there’s the innovative inclusion of a fine rendition of ‘James & The Cold Gun’ by Kate Bush. The messages in ‘Battlestorm’ reflect the album’s title through songs of conflict on many levels, tangible and abstract, from reality and imagination, private and public, mixing tradition with innovation.
As you might expect, the ‘voice’ is there, through the musical intricacies and percussive presence of ‘Ashamed’, the mournful sorrow, gentle harmonies and mandolin of ‘Shadows Cannot Wake’ and the rockier side of folk with ‘No Greater Love’ and ‘Mirror’, which continues the noticeable acoustic touch before morphing into its closing guitar-drive. The musical interpretation and soaring vocal acrobatics pull you into ‘James & The Cold Gun’ by Kate Bush as does the raw emotion of their rendition of Ian Sinclair’s ‘The King’s Shilling’. The diversity of the band’s approach is clear from an ominous feel and dark narrative of the title track ‘Battlestorm’ to the instantly memorable promise and honesty of ‘Your Face Smiles’.
Now with a permanent band behind her rather than a collection of musicians, playing on ‘Battlestorm’ are Rosie Eade (vocals, classical and electric guitar) Steve Matthews (electric and acoustic mandolin, tenor guitar, washboard) Niall Robinson (cajon, tabla, drums, vocals, banjo) Simon Stanley (bass, vocals).
Listen to the Rosie Eade Band and ‘Battlestorm’ and it’s clear that folk rock is not only alive and well, it’s thriving. Find band and album here: www.rosieeade.co.uk
Review: Tim Carroll